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Can I Fax My 1040 to the IRS?

An image of 1040 tax returns documents which can be faxed to the IRS.

It’s never too early to start preparing for tax season. Whether you file taxes on your own or rely on a tax professional to help, old-fashioned mailing can take a long time. While there are e-submission options nowadays, you might be looking for something more secure. 

You can’t send your 1040 directly to the Internal Revenue Service, but there are some tax forms you can securely send via online fax and a few other ways faxing can help streamline your tax process. 

Let’s explore the basics of IRS faxing, including how to send your 1040. 

What Is Tax Form 1040?

So what is a 1040 form used for? Taxpayers use Form 1040 to file their annual income tax returns. The form has two pages. One covers basic information, like name, address, and Social Security number. The other includes your signature, occupation, and the most important part: your financial information. Here is where you would fill out your adjusted gross income. 

Depending on your financial situation, you may need to complete different schedules of Form 1040. For example, Schedule C is for self-employed filers, and Schedule A is for those who need to itemize their deductions. If you’re not sure what form you need, it’s best to consult your local tax authorities.

Can You Fax Your 1040 to the IRS?

So can you send your 1040 form by fax? The short answer is no, and there is no designated IRS fax number for a 1040 form. The only way to submit your 1040 to the IRS is by mail or electronic submission. 

However, there are still a few ways you can use a fax during the tax filing process. The IRS allows you to file certain forms via fax, like: 

  • Form SS-4 
  • Form 8821
  • Form 2848

If you’ve already filed taxes and learned that you’re missing certain forms, you can also fax those to the IRS. In this case, an IRS representative may contact you to request more information. Ask if you can fax the paperwork and for the correct IRS fax number.

Even though you can’t fax all of your tax forms to the IRS, it doesn’t mean fax can’t play a role in your filing process. If you’re working with an accountant, faxing can be a secure way to send your tax documents to them for filing. 

Electronic Filing (E-filing) Explained

There are many tips to make filing your taxes easier, but the number one tool is e-filing. E-filing is straightforward, more convenient, and far safer than manually filing your taxes. 

That’s why the IRS encourages electronic filing for the millions of Americans nationwide who do taxes themselves. If you’re thinking about e-filing, here’s everything you need to know about the process. 

Advantages of E-filing

Compared to manually filling out and mailing your tax return, electronic filing has several advantages. 

  • Convenience: You can file your taxes from anywhere in the world, whether in the office or at home, making the whole process much faster. Online tax filing can take as little as an hour to complete, and submitting is as simple as clicking a button. 
  • Accuracy: E-filing is also far simpler for the average taxpayer. Most online tax services walk you through each required form step-by-step. This means you don’t need to do any deep research or have advanced tax preparation skills to do your taxes correctly.
  • Affordability: The IRS offers free e-filing options for taxpayers earning less than $72,000 per year in adjusted gross income. And even if your income falls above this threshold, it’s still cheaper to e-file than having a professional tax preparer handle your taxes manually. 
  • Speed: Online filing offers a much faster tax experience, meaning you’ll get your tax refund faster (if applicable). Mailing your return can take days, if not weeks, to get to the IRS. With an online service, it reaches the IRS in seconds — your taxes are processed faster, and you won’t constantly be checking your refund status.
  • Storage: Online tax filing systems can store your information for years, which comes in handy in case of an IRS audit. It also provides easy access to the previous year’s returns if you need your paperwork for something like a mortgage or other loan.

How To E-file Your Tax Return

There are two options for e-filing your tax return. The first is IRS Free File, a free program that lets you file your taxes online. While it doesn’t walk you through the process with as much assistance as a paid program, it still gives some guidance.

The second option is tax software. A few popular choices are TurboTax and H&R Block, but there are plenty of e-filing options out there. Most of these programs offer a free option for taxpayers who want to do simple tax returns without deductions. However, they may charge for more complex tax returns, like those of small businesses or freelancers. 

Once you’ve chosen your e-filing service, all you have to do is follow the instructions. Most programs will take you step by step through the process from beginning to end. 

Find the Right Fax Partner

While you can’t fax your 1040, there are so many other ways fax can assist in the tax process. Whether sending follow-up tax forms to the IRS or tax paperwork to your accountant, faxing offers a reliable and safe way to deliver your most sensitive financial documents. eFax’s simple taxing solutions make it easy to send all your most important information, from tax forms to work documents, with just an email address and a computer or mobile device. No fax machine is needed. Learn more about our plans, or get started with us today.

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